Latest F1 news in brief
- Haug plays down reports of Merc talks
- Todt - 'no problems' with Ferrari's Montezemolo
- Todt not excluding FIA role for Vatanen
- Todt vows to push for French GP revival
- Ferrari loses team member to Lotus
- Campos officially joins teams group FOTA
Haug plays down reports of Merc talks
(GMM) Norbert Haug has played down but not denied reports that Abu Dhabi will this weekend stage crucial talks about Mercedes' changing approach to formula one.
Reports this week said the German carmaker's chairman Dieter Zetsche and other officials will be at the Yas Marina Circuit not only to discuss ramping up the collaboration with Brawn, but also dismantling the one with long-time partner McLaren.
Haug, Mercedes' competition director, said in a telephone conference call that there was "nothing new to say" except that the marque has "options (about) how we present ourselves in formula one".
"There are no signatures," he confirmed, pointing out that the presence of Daimler officials in Abu Dhabi is not unusual, since the group is 9.1 per cent owned by a government investment arm.
Haug also referred to the exclusive contract with McLaren, which extends through 2011.
"If we want to do something McLaren has to agree and when McLaren want to something we have to agree," said the German.
"I can only assure you that we have a long term-basis association. Everything else is speculation about which we do not comment."
Todt - 'no problems' with Ferrari's Montezemolo
(GMM) Jean Todt has played down reports his new relationship with Ferrari might be a tetchy one.
The Frenchman ran the famous Italian team for fourteen years, but has now been elected to succeed Max Mosley as the new FIA president.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, also chairman of the F1 teams' association FOTA, clashed memorably with Mosley over the recent political war.
Another difficult relationship might now ensue between Todt and Montezemolo, amid rumors the pair did not part ways at Ferrari amicably.
"It is not true that I have had problems with Montezemolo," Todt, 63, is quoted as saying by Italy's Tuttosport.
"Actually he was the first person I heard from after the election and also the previous evening he sent me a very nice message," he revealed.
Montezemolo also played down the reports, which are ironic given that some feared that Todt's election as president would bias the FIA's relationship in favor of the Maranello based team.
"I'm very happy that Todt, a person who worked so well over 16 years here in Maranello and with whom I have a very amicable relationship, has been elected into such an important and crucial position for formula one's future," said the Italian.
Todt not excluding FIA role for Vatanen
(GMM) New FIA president Jean Todt has declined to rule out finding a role within the Paris based federation for his opponent Ari Vatanen.
The pair waged a hard-hitting contest for control of F1's governing body, but outgoing president Max Mosley hinted that his successor might "find something for (Vatanen) to do" under Todt's rule.
"He had his list (of supporters), and I had mine," FIA president Todt is quoted as saying in an interview with Agence France-Presse.
"But we cannot exclude any outcome. We need competent people," the Frenchman added.
Todt vows to push for French GP revival
(GMM) Jean Todt has confirmed that he will support France's efforts to return to the formula one calendar.
Recent host Magny-Cours did not organize the race in 2009 for "economic reasons", and efforts to date to establish alternative venues have not yet been successful.
In August, the president of France's motor racing federation Nicolas Deschaux said he thought electing Frenchman Todt as FIA president "could make our job" of reviving the grand prix "easier".
As Todt was voted in last week, Deschaux was named as a member of the new World Motor Sport Council.
Todt said in a French language interview with Agence France-Presse that the status of the French GP is already the subject of "discussions with our friends at the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile (FFSA)".
He also said talks will take place with government officials, adding that: "I hope that France again has a grand prix."
The author of F1's annual race calendar is Bernie Ecclestone, and the F1 chief executive recently told the Le Parisien newspaper that it has been difficult so far to restore a French grand prix.
"I've sent a contract to them and it hasn't been sent back," said the Briton, revealing that 2013 looks the earliest date for a Paris race, and that Paul Ricard is another possible venue.
"It's a shame, because it's going to get harder to find a spot on the calendar. They need to act quickly because time is short," added Ecclestone.
Ferrari loses team member to Lotus
(GMM) Ferrari is set to lose a long time member of its formula one team.
French speaking Canadian Gino Rosato is better known around the world as the team's burly and goateed security man.
Radio Canada reports that he has accepted a proposal to join the sports car maker Lotus as the vice-president of corporate affairs.
The offer was made by his former Ferrari colleague Dany Bahar, who is Lotus' new CEO. Rosato's last race with Ferrari will be in Abu Dhabi this weekend, having joined in the late 90s.
Campos officially joins teams group FOTA
(GMM) The logo of an eleventh member has been added to the official website of the formula one teams association.
USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor confirmed last month that the new American outfit had joined FOTA, and reports said Manor and Lotus would also shortly sign up.
But only the silver logo of the new Spanish outfit Campos-Meta has been added to the FOTA website and official stationary, appearing alongside the ten teams on the 2009 grid.
FOTA, having said recently that all new teams would be eligible to join, did not immediately return requests for comment.